The Irish Sports Council and the Sports Council for Northern Ireland published a joint Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport in 2000.
This major joint publication recognised the commitment of both Councils to ensure that young people are safeguarded in their participation in sport in the island of Ireland.
The Code has been adopted and implemented by governing bodies of sports, clubs, local sports partnerships and community/voluntary groups on an on-going basis since 2000. It has been encouraging to see the common sense approach to the adoption of the code at grass roots level, which has resulted in protection for young people and leaders.
If young people are to stay involved in sport throughout their adult life, they need to be equipped with the fundamentals to remain involved with sport and physical activity. Equally we need to ensure that their early experiences are positive and enjoyable, irrespective of their ability, gender, social class, race, etc. It is encouraging to see adults, both volunteers and professionals, contribute to these positive experiences by acting as role models in all dealings with young people. In particular the work of Children’s Officers at club and national level is instrumental in implementing the Code. We need to build on this valuable work to ensure that
all young people see sport and physical activity as an important and valuable aspect of their lives that they will sustain throughout their adulthood.
The review of the Code in 2005 ensures that the policies and procedures that we implement at all levels in sport are up-to-date and in line with relevant documents, current best practice and legislation throughout the island of Ireland. We thank the committee for its work throughout 2005 and we hope that this will help all sporting organisations to protect and maintain the welfare of all young people through sport.
Mr Ossie Kilkenny Professor Eric Saunders
Irish Sports Council Sports Council for Northern Ireland